Walking in the front door I came upon all four girls with their heads together bent over the globe on the dining room table. They were deep in discussion about which of the very colorful continents was the North Pole. The guesses ranged from Florida, to Egypt, to somewhere in western Russia.
When the children realized I was behind them, little squealing girls insisted on my help. Like any good home-schooling father, I attempted to ignore them and walk away, but they saw through my deception and I was roped in.
We started with an educated guess from #1. “Is this the North Pole?” she asked as she pointed to some point in the Mid West.
“Ummm, not quite. It’s more like up here.” I then pointed to the proper place on the globe.
“Ohh, this is the North Pole,” said #1 as she tapped the plastic degree plate at the top of the world.
“No, that’s… something else. It’s under that, I mean…” As I looked upon the row of confused faces I was suddenly aware of just how a rat felt in a maze. I hastened to explain myself as I pointed to the empty ocean at the top of the world “It’s right here, but there’s no land. It’s all ice, but they don’t show ice on a globe. Ah…”
With my lightning quick mind I found myself changing the subject. “The South Pole has land, you see. The North Pole doesn’t, but the South Pole does.” We turned the globe upside down and a couple heads bonked as they leaned in.
I got a lot of “ooh’s” before someone asked, “What’s that?” pointing to Brazil.
So we did the Point-at-a-country and dad-will-read-what-it-is game all the way to dinner and into the meal.
About half way into the meal, and a full five minute after we put the globe away, #2 announced, “I don’t want go to the North Pole, I want to go to the South Pole.”
Well, I thought, I guess she really was listening to.
Not bad for a home-schooling dad.